Besides being a democratic country, India is quite vibrant in nature. With each state celebrating its festival in their own way, everything is worth watching. What Durga Puja is to West Bengal, Ganesh Chaturthi is to Maharashtra. Celebrated over a span of 10 days every year with great pomp and show, the festival is very auspicious for the Hindus. The day is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesha.
Notice for All: This year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrations are curtailed. Whereas the festival will be celebrated by following a few things explained by the government. The size of the idols will be reduced, and murtis will be immersed in artificial water bodies to avoid pollution to our mother nature.
Significance of Lord Ganesha
In Hindu mythology, Lord Ganesha is known for knowledge, science, and wisdom. Apart from this, the Lord is also prayed for prosperity and wisdom. People seek blessings from Lord Ganesha to keep not only the family members but also the entire world in good health and prosperity.
In addition to this, Lord Ganesha is remembered before starting any work by chanting Siddhidata Ganeshaye Namah. Elephant-headed Lord Ganesha has 108 different names which can be known from the hymn.
Dates of Maghi Ganesh Chaturthi in 2021
The celebration happens late February, contingent upon the pattern/phase of the moon. It falls in the Bhadra month as per the Hindu calendar that is approximately in the mid of August to September. In 2021, Maghi Ganesh Chaturthi is on 15th February. The celebration reaches out more than 10 days with the greatest scene occurring on the last day known as Anant Chaturdashi, which falls on 1st September 2021.
Where is Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrated?
Ganesh Chaturthi is generally celebrated in the province of Maharashtra, where it started as an open celebration in the city of Pune over 125 years prior. Even though there is banter over who began it there (Sardar Krishnaji Khasgiwale, freedom fighter or political dissident Bhausaheb Rangari or Lokmanya Tilak), its fundamental reason for existing was to bring individuals of various classes and castes together to join them against the British principle. The icon at Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati temple in Budhwar Peth is well known and recorded.
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated by Hindus from all over the world. However, it is celebrated with great zeal mostly in the western part of India. States like Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka are the ones that celebrate with great pomp and show.
One of the simplest places to experience the pageant is in Mumbai previously known as Bombay. It happens in an exceptional manner at the transcending Siddhivinayak temple, arranged in the focal south Mumbai neighbourhood of Prabhadevi, which is devoted to Lord Ganesha. A limitless number of lovers visit the sanctuary to participate in petitions and offer their appreciation to God during the celebration. What’s more, around 10,000 sculptures of Lord Ganesha are shown in different areas over the city.
The parade or procession and inundation of the sculptures on the most recent day is grand!
Importance of Ganesha Chaturthi
The festival has a historical significance. The festival is believed to have been celebrated from the time of King Shivaji until freedom fighter Lokmanya Balgangadhar Tilak renamed it to Ganesha Chaturthi and made it a grand festival by breaking the shackles of caste and society.
During this period, people pray to the Lord for their well-being. They put forward their wishes, aspirations, and dreams in front of Lord Ganesha with a hope that those will be fulfilled. It also marks the devotees setting themselves off from sins and taking the path of wisdom and knowledge.
How is it Celebrated?
The celebration starts with the establishment of enormous intricately created resolutions of Ganesha in homes and platforms, which have been uniquely built and flawlessly embellished. Craftsmans put a long time of exertion into making the sculptures. It’s debarred to take a gander at the moon on this first night as legend had it the moon giggled at Lord Ganesha when he tumbled from his Vahan (vehicle), the rat. On Anant Chaturdashi (the last day), the statues of Lord Ganesha are marched through the roads and inundated in the sea or different waterways. In Mumbai alone, in excess of 150,000 sculptures are drenched every year!
What Rituals are Performed?
When a statue of Lord Ganesh is introduced, a function is embraced to conjure his blessed presence into the sculpture. This custom is known as the Prana Pratishtha, during which various mantras are chanted. Following this, an extraordinary reverence is performed. Contributions of desserts, sweets, flowers, rice, coconut, jaggery, and coins are made to God. The sculpture is likewise aneled with red Chandan powder. Prayers are offered to Lord Ganesha consistently during the celebration. Temples of Lord Ganesha additionally compose exceptional occasions and prayers. Individuals who bring a statue of Lord Ganesha in their house treat and care for him as a much-adored visitor.
The Stage is all Set Weeks ahead of Chaturthi
The onset of the eco friendly Ganesha Chaturthi celebration is marked days ahead of the actual day. The excitement reaches the peak when the artisans start to prepare the clay for the idols to be made. The idols differ in style and size. These idols are then taken to the pandal where a priest invokes life in it by chanting mantras.
The devotees offer Shhodashopachara. It is basically offering prayers to eco friendly Ganesha statues in 16 different ways.
Eco friendly Ganesha Turns into Plants after Immersion
The modern stress of the people has been to ensure every celebration to be eco friendly. In this initiative of Go Green, the professionals associated with the making of the Lord Ganesha’s idols make sure that the materials return to nature. The clay or mitti gives birth to plants upon immersion. This will help keep the water bodies pure and ascertain that the water biodiversity is not harmed.
What was it Traditionally?
The advancement of science and technology has helped people to learn more about the negative impact of the use of non-biodegradable items. Earlier, idols were made from Plaster of Paris, which would not dissolve completely and thus choking the water bodies. This negatively impacted the water ecosystem. In addition to this, the paints used earlier had mercury and lead which adversely affects the fauna and flora of the water body.
For what reason are the Ganesha Statues Immersed in Water toward the End of the Festival?
Hindus adore icons, or sculptures, of their divine beings since it gives them a visible structure to appeal to. They likewise perceive that the universe is in a steady condition of progress. Structure, in the long run, offers away to amorphousness. Be that as it may, the vitality despite everything remains. The drenching of the sculptures in the sea, or different waterways, and the resulting devastation of them fills in as a token of this conviction. It encourages that everything is impermanent throughout everyday life and that it’s occasionally important to relinquish things we love.
Ganesha Chaturthi and the Environmental Connection
During the last few years, there has been a rapid degradation in environmental conditions. People are becoming more aware of their role in protecting natural resources, especially water bodies. In addition to this, the stringent instructions from the government to conduct authorities to ensure the cleanliness of the water bodies have made them conduct eco friendly Ganesha Chaturthi.
What is Eco friendly Ganesha?
Well, we might have come across various terms related to eco friendly. But what actually is an eco friendly Ganesha?
Actually, it is a way of celebrating the festival in an environmentally friendly way. In this, the idol is made of clay or more commonly called as mitti (a special one for idol making). The colours used to make the idols are natural, i.e. are extracted from flowers, leaves, or from any natural source. In addition to this, in eco friendly Ganesha Chaturthi celebration, even the pandals are decorated with natural items.
The reason behind the use of all-natural items is to minimise the impact of the raw materials on nature. It helps in reducing the carbon footprint as well.
An Initiative to Protect the Environment…
To fight the challenges associated with the constant degradation of water and air, the professionals have come forward with the eco friendly Ganesha idols. The motto has been to ensure that the purpose of the festival is not hampered and each individual continues to enjoy this, one of the biggest festivals, in a green way, caring for the future and reducing all the possible causes of global warming.